The Weird World of CS:GO In-game Market

Every day the army of gamers is getting bigger. They spend weeks staring at the screen, laughing, yelling, swearing and sometimes even crying. The games are getting better, the VR is available for everyone who has a $1K+ laying around. No wonder that the in-game items trading becomes more common every day. For most mobile game developers this trading is the only source of monetization. But the big industry players also get their slice of pie. They offer the possibilities to buy new weapons and accessories which enhance the power and skills of game characters. Sounds like a great purchase in case you do spend a lot of time playing the same multiplayer game every day. But not all in-game items bring strength and victory.

Skins as cosmetical features

The bestseller from Valve Corporation called Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) changed the usual order of things by creating the virtual objects with a strictly cosmetical function. They don’t influence the characters in any way except for giving them and their weapons a more stylish look. Those in-game items are called skins, and they are the virtual goodies players are obsessed with.

Skins don’t enhance the firepower of a weapon in any way but only change the design. Some players are ready to spend massive amounts of money for an unusual design of their rifle or a knife. Skins are typically received when playing CS:GO, but also can be bought at Steam Community Market, which is also owned by Valve. Most of them are reasonably priced, and this industry doesn’t seem to be very successful, however, keep in mind that Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has millions of monthly active players. The profit from their trade is rather high considering that Valve takes the 15% fee from every CS:GO related acquisition. The fact that you can’t withdraw the funds from Steam Market but only use them for buying something else on the platform makes the final revenue even bigger.

Skin trading industry takes the stage

This condition started the whole new business of skin trading. Independent platforms pay real money for skins by lowering their price. Most of them serve as a place for trade listings. Others, like, buy CS:GO items immediately by offering various payment methods and currencies. There are even online casinos that use skins as chips.

Would you be willing to spend a couple of thousands of bucks for an acid green virtual AK-47? It definitely won’t make you a better shooter, but at least you’ll look cool AF in someone’s gunsight.

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